Bright flash in skies over Smolensk likely to have been large meteorite, expert warns
A large bright object recorded on video and posted on the Internet by a local resident as it was crossing the night sky over Smolensk in western Russia could have been a large meteorite, a specialist from the Smolensk planetarium told TASS on Tuesday.
The same object was seen at the very same time in Russia’s northwest. Many videos have already been posted on the Internet by residents of St. Petersburg and the northwestern Leningrad region.
"The fall was rather spectacular, with a bright flare. It was possibly a large meteorite, and such phenomenon can be witnessed very rarely," Marina Sukristova said, adding that that same celestial object or its fragments was possibly seen in different regions of the country.
The specialist said now scientists will step in, who will scrutinize all videos posted on the Internet, question the eyewitnesses, assess the brightness of the object, the direction of its fall and other factors to establish its nature, trajectory and the area where it could have fallen.
Marina Sukristova added that if witnesses from across Russia post it on their accounts on the Internet, this will help the specialists a lot.
The regional office of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations told TASS that they had received no reports connected with the event, adding that there was no destruction and nobody was injured in the Smolensk region.Quelle: TASS
Russian, Finnish experts reckon St. Petersburg Meteorite may have fallen near Lake Seliger
Scientists at the Yeltsin Urals Federal University (UrFU) say the celestial body, caught on video cameras over Western Russia in the evening of September 11 may have hit the Earth’s surface near Lake Seliger, in the Tver Region.
"Researchers at the university’s Extra Terra Consortium laboratory and their counterparts from Finland have processed data from the Finnish fireball network and the videos of the meteorite’s flight that streaked over the Western areas of Russia in the evening of September 11 to arrive at the conclusion that its flight path ends some place in the Tver Region near Lake Seliger," the Urals Federal University said in a news release.
UrFU Professor Viktor Grokhovsky speculates that the meteorite’s original size was one meter in diameter and mass, 1,000 kilograms, but only minor fragments reached the Earth’s surface.
"(Our) Finnish colleagues are now making calculations with the aim of mapping out the likely fallout patterns. The exact location is yet to be established. Presumably, it’s the area of Lake Seliger, but the flight path is still being charted," Grokhovsky explained.
The meteor’s flight was observed in St. Petersburg, Smolensk, Novgorod, the Moscow Region, and southeastern Finland.
"A bright fireball that dashed across the sky over western Russia sparked lively debates on the social networks. Most of the eyewitnesses were around St. Petersburg, so the event was most often referred to as the ‘St. Petersburg Meteorite’," the UrFU said.
Earlier, a group of scientists in Irkutsk, Yekaterinburg and Helsinki calculated the main parameters and approximate trajectory of a bolide that flew over Buryatia and the Irkutsk Region on October 25, 2016. Files retrieved from CCTV cameras and car video recorders proved very helpful. Specialists say that such cameras are crucial to identifying space objects and tracking their flight, so it is necessary to create vast networks of such cameras in the regions.
Currently photo and video cameras have already been planted at three sites in the Urals to record phenomena occurring in the atmosphere.